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How to keep barbecue from becoming blaze this summer

Summertime grilling is fun but it has its dangers.

Each year more than 80,000 fires are blamed on accidents from grilling at home, some of them deadly.

Experts are sharing the best ways to keep your barbecue safe this summer.

First, before piling on the burgers and dogs, take a minute to inspect your grill. 

Make sure it is at least 10 feet from your home. 

That way, if it does ignite, it won’t set your house on fire.

Next, check the propane tank for leaks.

Fire safety expert Thomas Magno said, “Basically just take some nice dishwasher detergent and very, literally, just put it over all the connections that you have in the tank.”

He said if you see bubbles form anywhere, shut off the tank and replace those connections.

Magno said cleaning the grill is vital step.

“Well after you’ve inspected and made sure all the components are working properly, take a nice wire brush to your grill and get off any excess grease that may have built up over time,” he said.

Don’t forget to clean out the grease in the tray below the grill and check it critters have nested in the off-season.

Clothing choices are also important to consider.

“When you’re cooking, please don’t wear anything loose and keep your hair away from the fire,” he said.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, take care when lighting. 

“Make sure you’re not downwind, meaning so once you light it, the flames are gonna come at you,” he said. “Do not add the lighter fuel to the fire once you have it going.”

What if you accidentally start a fire, especially with a propane grill?

“Well, the safest thing to do if you have a fire is to close the grill,” Magno said. “OK. You close the grill and if you can, safely get to the shutoff, simply shut off the valve. If you cannot do that, just get away from it and call the fire department and we’ll respond right away.”

Once you are finished grilling, store any extra propane tanks outside, never indoors. 

If you’re traveling with a tank, to replace it, for example, never put it in the trunk of your car in case there is an accident.